Sucker Punch: The Victim’s Last Stand

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By Ryan Creegan
Staff Writer

We’ve all seen the trailers and heard the buzz about the new movie Sucker Punch. Not all of these mumblings have been good.

The film opens with the main character mourning the loss of her mother and protecting her sister from their abusive stepfather. When the father discovers he was not in his wife’s will, he becomes enraged and kills the younger sister, despite the main character “Baby Doll’s” best efforts to protect her. Blamed for the murder, Baby Doll is sent to an insane asylum where her stepfather has arranged for her to be lobotomized. Clearly struck by the trauma, she enters a delusional world where she fights for her survival and for the tools to escape her prison.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the same director of Watchmen and 300, he once again transports his movies to a dark and devious angle, leaving each frame of his new picture looking oddly painted. Co-written with Steve Shibuya, the story seems well thought out, but in many ways seems more of a high budget art film than the action thriller it was advertised as.

In truth, the movie seems to feed two very different needs for viewers, for raw and unchecked action, as well as deep symbolism on serious subjects, which creates an obvious clash. The main character, referred to only as “Baby Doll” played  by Emily Browning, found usually in movies such as Ghost Ship or A Series of Unfortunate Events, deals with her troubling past while fighting through hoards of monsters.

The special effects and costumes are top notch through all of the fight scenes, even if some seem borrowed from other movies. Entire scenes of World War II battlefields, castles defended by dragons, gremlins and futuristic cities on far away planets seem almost real as the main character and her companion’s fight for their survival.

The whole movie takes place over less than a week in what seems to be the 1950s. The main character faces the injustices of death and persecution placed on her by the men around her. She faces them and, in her own way, defeats them with the help of her four friends. These backup characters are played by such recognizable names as Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, and Jamie Chung. Eventually she rids her surrogate home of the injustice that put her there.

The one main complaint my companion Ariana Viscione had was, “Where did the title come from?” a question I am still unable to answer. Sucker Punch left us confused and a little depressed in the end. Though it definitely had the action to satisfy any warm blooded viewer, the serious and often uncomfortable situations would make this a movie to avoid seeing on a date, and for many just avoid seeing all together.